Taking something off of my plate

Today I’m contemplating taking something off of my plate.  Other than food (desserts, extra carbs, snacks) – which don’t need to be on the plate in the first place, I’m thinking about activities, initiatives, and projects.  The question is what … what do I remove? I’m having one of those days where I want to save the children, save the students, study languages, write a book, direct new programs, all while going back to my old days of being the “go-to girl in Step Class” (Thanks to my friend Nina C. from Northwestern … it was a ritual in grad school!), cooking and baking up a storm (I’m glad that my carrot cake cupcakes went over well at Thanksgiving!), etc.  Oh, and how can I forget things like being a good wife, sister, daughter, friend? These should have been first.  I realized a while ago that I can’t do everything in church like I used to or want to.  There’s a season for everything. So while I no longer sing on the choir (like I did in NJ), or work with the Youth Ministry (like I did in Chicago-land), or teach in the Children’s Ministry (like I did in Wisconsin), and am only in town part-time to serve with the Deaf Ministry or Deaconcare (ala Baltimore), I am resolved that I have a decent balance at church, but not in the other areas of my life.

As I write, I remember the words of my pastor from Matthew about seeking God first.  I should take a deep breath and do that.  I’ve heard it so many times in the KJV version (Matt 6:33).

33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

But as I’m writing this, I ‘m going to look it up in The Message version.

Here it is:

Matthew 6:33 (The Message)

30-33“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Hmmm.  Ok.  So … I’m going to think about things to cut out, something to take off of my plate, realizing that it will be ok in the long run. But what should that thing or those things be? I’m open to suggestions. 🙂

Categories: All, Life/Work Balance

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3 replies »

  1. Dr. Tull, I’ve always been one of your admirers for your selfless service! While I myself realized that we cannot help everyone and save everyone, we can definitely do one thing for sure. Try and make ourselves happy! Try and make a list of all the things and rank them in terms what what makes you more happy(I know it can be hard, but once you do it, you will be relieved). I would definitely place the family first, because we are nothing without it, and then cut the second half out. Do the best for the first half until you feel very happy and then you can focus on the second half. Put your happiness first! Once you are happy, you can make the others happy:). If this doesn’t help, you always have Dr. Rutledge! I always looked to her and talking to her always made me more enlightened and light hearted for sure.

    Good luck with everything!



  2. This post is mirrored on Facebook. Thank you for all of the comments that are coming in there. One great suggestion (from JKP) was the following:

    “So much to do, so little time (and energy!) I suggest going with the Pareto Principle (roughly translated as 80% of what matters is from 20% of the action). List *everything* you want/need/think you should do in *all* areas of life (which may be 100), then choose 20% to focus on. When you have them listed, it’s easier to compare, and it becomes obvious what is important. The rest can go to your “Someday/Maybe” list.”


  3. I really liked this post- it actually got me thinking about how I prioritize, being in school full time, working full time, and most importantly, being a mother/wife/sister/daughter. I find myself struggling with that same question. In the end, I still end up doing everything, but with different levels of expectation/dedication placed on each. I want to be a great student, but it is ok if I am just good- that can suffice. I am really interested in my work and it is paving the way for my future, so I want to be perfect, but being great will do just fine.

    But being a mother/wife/sister/daughter requires that I come as close to perfection as I can. I cherish the people who call me those names and I only have one lifetime to show it, so try to do it with all of my love as much as possible. You should be the best that you can be at what matters the most, and believe it or not, people will forgive you for not being perfect in other areas of life 🙂


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